Defining Conflicts? The New Zealand Wars

In this Friends of the Turnbull Library event, Dr Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000, will present an overview of the New Zealand Wars – a series of conflicts that profoundly shaped the course and direction of our nation’s history. He looks at the origins, causes and consequences of these conflicts and discusses how the wars have been remembered historically.

Vincent has recently received a Friends of the Turnbull Library research grant to help him research his latest book project, a history of the New Zealand Wars aimed at the secondary school market.

5.30 pm, Thursday 22 November
Ground Floor, National Library of New Zealand
Corner of Aitken and Molesworth streets
Thorndon, Wellington

Free entry


Event Date time:
Thursday, November 22, 2018 – 17:30 to 18:30
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NZ Historical Association Mary Boyd Prize 2017

HistoryWorks Director Dr Vincent O’Malley was named as the 2017 winner of the Mary Boyd Prize at the New Zealand Historical Association’s conference held in Auckland in December.

Named in memory of the Pacific historian Mary Beatrice Boyd (1921–2010), this award is for the best article on any aspect of New Zealand history published in a refereed journal. The prize covered articles published between April 2015 and April 2017.

Vincent’s winning article, ‘“Recording the Incident with a Monument”: The Waikato War in Historical Memory’, was published in the open-access Journal of New Zealand Studies in 2015.

The article charts changing perceptions of the Waikato War in national memory and consciousness and formed the basis for a chapter on this topic in my subsequent book The Great War for New Zealand.

Read the wining article here.

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Change of Postal Address

Following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck central New Zealand last November, the PostShop housing our mail box in Marion Square has been permanently closed. Please note that our new postal address is:

PO Box 24145

Wellington 6142

All other contact details, including our physical address, remain the same.

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Public Talk: The Great War for New Zealand

The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000

Public talk at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato

When: Sunday 9 October 2016, 4.30 – 7 p.m.
Where: Waikato Museum Lecture Theatre, 1 Grantham Street, Hamilton

Vincent O’Malley talks with Waikato-Tainui representatives Tom Roa and Rahui Papa about this landmark publication, which will be launched at the Waahi Poukai on 8 October.

Spanning nearly two centuries from first contact through to settlement and apology, The Great War for New Zealand focuses on the human impact of the Waikato War, its origins and aftermath. The book arrives as the Government announces a national day of commemoration for the conflict and key sites are returned to iwi.

Find out more at

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Kiingitanga: The Untold Story

Vincent O’Malley recently appeared in the three-part documentary series Kiingitanga: The Untold Story. Documenting the more than 150-year history of New Zealand’s Māori King movement, the series provides rich insights into the past, present and future of Aotearoa’s indigenous monarchy. The series can be viewed on demand from the Māori TV website.

Vincent also discussed the history of the movement with Andrew Dickens of Newstalk ZB. Listen to the interview here.

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The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000

Due to be published by Bridget Williams Books in October 2016, Vincent O’Malley’s lavishly-illustrated new history of the Waikato War promises to challenge assumptions that we know all we need to about the wars fought on New Zealand’s own shores. The great war for New Zealand was fought, he suggests, not at Gallipoli or on the Western Front, but right here in Aotearoa New Zealand. See the book’s webpage for updates on the work.


No te taenga ki te kohuru i Rangiaohia, katahi au ka mohio he tino pakanga nui tenei, no Niu Tireni

When it came to the (time of the) murder at Rangiaohia, then I knew, for the first time, that this was a great war for New Zealand

Wiremu Tamihana (1865)


BWB8126_The Great War for New Zealand_HR

A monumental new account of the defining conflict in New Zealand history. It was war in the Waikato in 1863–64 that shaped the nation in all kinds of ways: setting back Māori and Pākehā relations by several generations and allowing the government to begin to assert the kind of real control over the country that had eluded it since 1840.

Spanning nearly two centuries from first contact through to settlement and apology, ​Vincent ​O’Malley focuses on the human impact of the war, its origins and aftermath. Based on many years of research and illustrated throughout, The Great War for New Zealand is a groundbreaking book written in the conviction that a nation needs to own its history.

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Waitangi Rua Rautau Lectures 2016

Vincent O’Malley recently took part in the Waitangi Rua Rautau Lectures for 2016, held at Victoria University of Wellington’s Te Herenga Waka Marae. After an initial address from Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick on the recent council partnership agreement with Te Arawa, the second part of proceedings focused on the role of historians in the Waitangi Tribunal process, with Vincent paying tribute to Professor Alan Ward, who passed away in December 2014. Radio New Zealand recorded proceedings. You can listen here (Vincent’s talk begins about 40 minutes in). Judge Caren Fox, Shonagh Kenderdine, Professor Michael Belgrave and Sir Edward Durie are also featured in the recording.

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Waitangi Tribunal 40th Anniversary, 1975-2015

The Waitangi Tribunal has released a special edition of its Te Manutukutuku newsletter marking the 40th anniversary of the Tribunal’s founding in 1975.

The special edition features articles and interviews from thirty current and former participants in the Waitangi Tribunal’s process, including Tribunal members, iwi leaders, historians (including Vincent O’Malley) and lawyers.

Contributors include former chairperson Sir Edward Taihukurei Durie, former chairperson Justice Joe Williams, the Minister of Māori Development the Honourable Te Ururoa Flavell, former Māori Party co-leader the Honourable Dame Tariana Turia, former chairperson of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board Tā Tipene O’Regan, and lawyer Annette Sykes.

The special edition also includes a feature article from Tribunal member Dr Ann Parsonson on the history of the Waitangi Tribunal.

Current chairperson Chief Judge Wilson Isaac writes in his introduction: ‘As the Tribunal moves towards completing its inquiries into historical claims and addressing kaupapa (thematic) and contemporary claims, this edition of Te Manutukutuku highlights the contribution the Tribunal has made towards restoring and sustaining the Treaty-based relationship between Māori and the Crown.’

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Porirua ki Manawatu Hearings

In recent weeks both Bruce Stirling and David Armstrong have presented evidence in the Waitangi Tribunal’s Porirua ki Manawatu inquiry as part of its hearings into the claims of Muaūpoko.

Bruce’s evidence to the Tribunal, focusing on Muaūpoko customary interests and the impact of Crown policies, including the introduction of the Native Land Court, was presented in November. See the Manawatu Standard report, ‘Waitangi Tribunal hears Crown influenced Native Land Court’.


David Armstrong presenting evidence to Porirua ki Manawatu Inquiry

David Armstrong presenting evidence to Porirua ki Manawatu Inquiry

David presented his evidence during a three day hearing held in Wellington between 14-16 December. His evidence related to the pollution of Lake Horowhenua, Muaūpoko land and other interests in the Kapiti/Horowhenua/Manawatu/Rangitikei region, early attempts by the tribe to retain their land through a form of tribal trust, and land transactions which led to the formation of the Levin township.

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Welcome to the New Website

All good things must come to an end. Our old website served us well for more than a decade. But time (and technology) moves on.

And so, thanks to the considerable assistance of our good friend Stephen Blyth and Bill Dashfield, we have moved to a WordPress-based platform that will enable our site to be updated much more regularly. The new site, featuring responsive web design, will also enable content to be viewed much more easily across a wide range of devices and operating systems.

Stayed tuned as we will be tweaking and adding new features to the site in the coming weeks and months.

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